Four years on, has Trump kept his promises? Let’s check

Four years ago, as a candidate, President Trump made more than 280 campaign promises. Let’s see how he did.

“I will build a great, great wall on our southern border . . .”
(Speech, June 16th, 2015)
While Trump so far has built 307 miles of walls along the 1,984-mile border, much of this replaces previous barriers that were dilapidated, or blocked only vehicles.

“. . . and I will have Mexico pay for that wall.”
Mexico is not paying for it. The new wall is costing about $30 million per mile and will be expensive to maintain, for human smugglers have cut open the wall with $50 cordless saws.

“We will find them [all undocumented immigrants], we will get them out.”
(CNN interview, July 29th, 2015)
Trump deported about 750,000 undocumented immigrants in his first three years in office, but most were trying to get into the country, not already living here. He never tried to remove all undocumented immigrants.

He did unleash a reign of terror directed at migrants, including separating young children from family members, and that may be one reason the total number of undocumented immigrants fell slightly. Still, Trump actually deported fewer people in his first three years than Barack Obama had – a comparison neither man will appreciate.

“We will also be a country of law and order . . . The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon, and I mean very soon, come to an end. Beginning on Jan 20 of 2017, safety will be restored.”
(Speech, July 21st, 2016)
Trump himself implicitly acknowledges that he has failed to create law and order, saying, “There is violence and danger in the streets” (speech, August 27th, 2020). Periodically, he incites that violence.

“The most basic duty of government is to defend the lives of its own citizens. Any government that fails to do so is a government unworthy to lead.”
(Speech, July 21st, 2016)
The United States has lost more than 185,000 people to the coronavirus pandemic. On a per-capita basis, that’s more than twice as many as Canada and five times as many as Germany. America has 4 per cent of the world’s population and 22 per cent of the world’s confirmed Covid-19 deaths.

“We’re going to work with all of our students who are drowning in debt to take the pressure off these young people.”
(Speech, July 21st, 2016)
Trump has sought to alter the terms of student loan repayments so that students would have to pay an additional $200 billion over a decade. He also attempted to cancel the Public Service Loan Forgiveness programme.

“We will repeal and replace disastrous Obamacare.”
(Speech, July 21st, 2016)
Trump has not succeeded in repealing the Affordable Care Act, although he is still pursuing a lawsuit that would overturn it. He has never explained what would replace it.